Like television and radio before, the Web has become the technological “go to” for marketing just about everything. Never before have marketers had such wide-open access to such a large target audience with so little effort and expense. But that also means that your marketing efforts can be easily lost in a fog of competing messages.
Some of the best online marketing does much more than simply putting a product or service in front of a customer’s face. The best techniques are often about establishment of brand/authority/credibility, coupled with a ubiquitous friendly presence that builds trust and offers a potential customer plenty of opportunity to come to you.
Social Networking – MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Bebo, and LinkedIn are just a few of the social networking sites that can spread your message with minimal cost. Posting content, company news, tips, etc., on these sites gives you instant exposure to everyone in your network. Contextual advertising on MySpace, for example, can reap huge benefits if you can build traffic to your organization’s page.
Podcasting – The iPod created a new paradigm for the way people use audio and video, and podcasts are a great way to put your message right alongside your audience’s favorite tunes. Create a helpful, entertaining, informative podcast, either audio or video or a mix of both, and release it into the podosphere through the variety of distribution channels. Target your podcast to your ideal audience, and then use it to promote your product or service.
Google Adwords – Having become the single biggest source of advertising on the Web, Google Adwords can bring targeted sales leads to your door for pennies each. One of the keys to using Adwords is putting the right keywords in your headlines, so that they appeal only to your target audience. We pick out the things we read by headlines. But don’t overdo the language. Google’s research proves that the most successful ads don’t use language that’s over the top. Keep ads simple, compelling, and direct.
Twitter – This message service broadcasts messages of 140 characters or less, about the max length of a news headline. The most powerful aspect of Twitter is that it can send and receive messages from mobile phones, PCs, websites, and desktop software, all distributed in real time. Twitter can fill the smallest cracks in your prospects’ time and put your name directly before them, as often as you like. Since Twitter is an opt-in service, you have to be interesting to them and have something valuable to offer. And because it’s opt-in, the quickest way to drive them away is to spam them. Twitter has been likened to “ambient intimacy,” asking the question, “What are you doing now?” So build up some “followers” and tell them.
Are you using any or all of these online marketing outlets to promote your business? If yes, what results have you seen? If not, you should consider it, because your competitors most certainly are.